Beauty and the Beast Season 1 Report Card: B+

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Let's face it: strictly by being a remake, Beauty and the Beast was up against the wall with viewers when it debuted.

The expectations were low and many people were angry that a classic program from the 80s was being remade in a way that caused you to wonder how you could even consider the titular character a traditional beast in the first place.

There were certainly struggles along the way, but after a sloppy start, the drama quickly found its footing and a rhythm with the characters that moved the story along at a solid pace, lobbing interesting reveals our way that peeled away story like of an onion. Those of us who stuck with it were hooked.

How would we grade the opening 21 episodes? Scroll down for our latest Report Card and then hand out your own rating below...

Beauty and the Beast Promo Pic

Best Character: I'm giving this to J.T. His loyalty and friendship never wavers. He is always there for his friend, no matter the consequences and has some of the best lines on television. Played brilliantly by Austin Basis, we can only hope his role gets bigger in season 2. Once he met and started sharing scenes with Tess, the ideas of where they could go together are unstoppable. 

J.T.: Okay. We're all gonna die. I'm gonna get a Tums. | permalink

The Game Changer Episode: As I sit here reading reviews trying to pick the best and the worst and traditional grading moments, I realize it's a darn hard job to do with Beauty and the Beast. The ups and downs were mainly due to the procedural aspect of the show that seemed to occupy a good portion of the season. Until "Bridesmaids Up." That's when the love between Cat and Vincent was no longer a question. It was when Evan encountered the Beast helping Catherine after her car accident and we learned that he had also isolated information proving Vincent was quickly progressing more toward the animal side of his DNA than the human and viewers imagined an Evan and J.T. pairing to study the data. Beautiful music was paired with a shocking accident leaving Cat hurt, but saved by the hands of two men who love her. Then we went into a long hiatus. Groan.

Worst Story Arc: Bringing in Vincent's lost love just one episode after the game changer was wrong on so many levels. As Cat was recuperating in a hospital room, it just so happened that the one time love of his life, Alex (we'll call her Red) worked there and was attending to Cat. The odds of that were ridiculous, the timing was horrible and the situation made Vincent do something he hadn't previously done - he lied to Cat. That was the biggest mistake of the story, because the season spent so much time building up the trust between Cat and Vincent only to tear it down because of an old girlfriend. Viewers knew Cat would have understood things much easier having not had to find out the truth about them by slinking through Red's closet in an attempt to save her life later on. While it was easy to see what their hope was in showing some of Vincent's past, they failed miserably.

Best Story Arc: The will he or won't he of Evan Marks was exasperating. Will he move in on Cat? Will he work with Muirfield? Will he be a good guy or a bad guy? Tragically, he was played very well by the ultimate big bad, and after spending time working with J.T., unknowingly on the side of good, he chose to partner with evil because he bought into their BS about wanting to make the world a better place through scientific study. Plus, his heart was broken when he realized Cat was with the very man who's DNA he had been studying. He wanted to ensure her safety, but he played the wrong hand of cards to do it. In the end, Even understood everything, including his very poor decision to work with the wrong team, and gave up his life to save Catherine and Vincent. It was a stunning blow to the show and we lost a lot of potential good that could have come from him working on the team.

Worst Character: Joe Bishop. I know! How did he beat out Heather Chandler? I'll tell you why. For keeping Tess locked in a motionless relationship with whispers of sweet nothings. The man is married and doesn't get to have our bright and witty Tess unless he's willing to give up the wife and bring it out in the open. His desire to play vigilante for his brother's death against a vigilante he was hunting also scored him points in this category, because nobody likes a hypocrite.

Best Episode: This was a very difficult choice, because once the second half of the season fell into place, great episodes were literally cascading week by week. But I only gave one a 5 star rating, so I'm picking "Anniversary." In it we finally got the back story on Gabe Lowen and his connection to Cat out in the open. He became more than just a thorn in everyone's side and after he was introduced to the family in a way that even a very jealous Vincent hadn't been, it was confirmed that he was a fellow beast by the telltale yellow eyes. What more could you ask for in an episode that also marked the anniversary of Cat's mother's death and her first encounter with Vincent? 

Hopes for Season 2: Outside my greatest hope that the show earns its respect on its new night and time on the fall schedule, I'm looking forward to finding out more about Muirfield, why Cat never knew who her real father was and how that secret will be revealed. It seems we're in for a mythology based season as I can't imagine Cat will be able to just walk back to her day job with the capture of Vincent.

As Austin Basis and Nina Lisandrello said, I'd really like to see them working together more frequently, and maybe even snark and bitchslap their way into a romance. More beasts, perhaps a friend from Vincent's past to explore would be fun, and a lot more hot, romantic scenes between Cat and Vincent who can steam up my screen anytime.

Overall Grade: B+

What about you? What grade would you give to Beauty and the Beast Season 1?

 

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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A. Excellent season, but- I also agree with the review- very well done. The Alex-arc was totally dragged out and unnessecary at the worst time possible, never watchedit again! The finale was okay, but also disappointing to say the least. Kristin showed excellent acting with the emotional tears about her dad, but when the love of her life was torn from her, no tears running down her beautiful face, shouting,etc-that scene should have been MUCH more emotional and dramatic. Gabe seemed to have been the main character in the show for too long-I hope that- if he comes back in S2- and I'm sure he will- he'll be an ally to Vincent & Cathrine, and play a much less prominent role. He had more airtime than the main characters in the past few episodes, -unnessecary. The romance between them are wonderful, but- why do they always get interrupted- by a phonecall or whatever?!It almost became predictable- everytime that there was a romantic scene, I said to myself- 'Okay, waiting for the phonecall now....',For S2 I would like to see more exciting,young romance between Cat & Vincent-they seemed more like a 15-year-old married couple?Longer romance/ scenes of them togethertoo- this is Beauty and the Beast after all!! I found the editing throughout the show to be not good. If you re-watch the episodes there are just too many editing mistakes, cutting beautifule scenes at the wrong times, etc.I love this show, and am looking forward to Season 2- I just hope they don't do the break-up/make-up routine too often-it then becomes just another soapie. Also- Vincent is a doctor, they should portray this more- I mean really, Cat is more concerned about his injuries than he is about hers? She gets kicked and thrown around, and he never even seems very doctor-like concerned? Anyway, I'll never stop watching BATB- it's amazing!!

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What more could we all want? Beauty and the Beast managed to give us a very rare blend of elements. There is a mix of true blue friendships,intrigue, danger and most of all love. The kind of love we all dream about- one filled with a aching and longing for one another. The kind of love that goes into those dark places and chases the shadows away. Vin/Cat have healed one another and we can see their growth as a couple. All while being supported by Tess and J.T. There were moments of awkward dialogue and stupid/idiotic characters like "Red". And heart wrenching moments- losing Evan. I loved all the tender/couple moments together. But let's get real- we want the hot,passionate romantic moments to happen more often. The chemistry between Kristin and Jay, comedic timing of Nina and Austin... Really.. BRING IT ON Season 2. Get it together writers. Rekindle the magic of episodes 11-21. FROM ONE DEVOTED BATB FAN!!!!!

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This show is so good -- romantic, epic, sweet, funny, scary -- and I just hope that more people find out about it this season. More Vincat!!!

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Well, where do I begin? First off, I can say I love this show. I love especially the characters of Vincent, Catherine, JT and Tess. I agree with some of the posters above about the Alex story though. I think it was so unrealistic of the writers for making Vincent seem so uncaring to Catherine in those episodes. For goodness sake, he almost lost her from that car accident, and as soon as Alex showed up, he was all lost in her, and seemed so uncaring to Catherine. I wish they could go back in time and change those episodes, but they can't. I hated Vincent then, and I felt as if my beloved VinCat died. The other writers in later episodes did show the love between the characters, bonding them in a way that seems very strong now. I still love this show and the chemistry between Jay Ryan and Kristin Kreuk is some of the strongest I've ever witnessed. I hope this show gets many seasons, but my one wish is that somehow they could make amends for that whole Alex arc. It was so useless, and nearly made a lot of people stop watching.

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I for one liked the Alex storyline because it fleshed out the Vincent and Catherine characters a bit more. And Alex is likely still in the picture and will most certainly appear in future episodes given her final scene on the bus to des Moines. I quite liked Alex. I give the season a C-minus because of the very silly ending. Really, did the writers expect us to believe that a beastly Vincent was incapable of tearing himself out of that net, no matter how high up in the air he was? After all, is this not a guy with such superhuman strength that he can lift steel cabinets nailed to the floor, jump from the top of skyscrapers and so on? And yet when a net is thrown over him suddenly he is helpless? Please. That was so stupid. And Cat - she fights for Vincent with everything she's got and yet in that final scene all she can manage is a limp hand raised to the sky in despair? I thought she was bad-ass but she didn't even attempt to shoot at the chopper or at the rope hauling Vincent away. What? She didn't want to accidentally shoot Vincent? Please. Tess shot Vincent and he was just fine so don't give me that. Such a poorly written and executed ending resulted in making both Cat and Vincent unrecognizable from the characters they had been portrayed as throughout the season. That is unforgivable so C-.

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I for one liked the Alex storyline because it fleshed out the Vincent and Catherine characters a bit more. And Alex is likely still in the picture and will most certainly appear in future episodes given her final scene on the bus to des Moines. I quite liked Alex. I give the season a C-minus because of the very silly ending. Really, did the writers expect us to believe that a beastly Vincent was incapable of tearing himself out of that net, no matter how high up in the air he was? After all, is this not a guy with such superhuman strength that he can lift steel cabinets nailed to the floor, jump from the top of skyscrapers and so on? And yet when a net is thrown over him suddenly he is helpless? Please. That was so stupid. And Cat - she fights for Vincent with everything she's got and yet in that final scene all she can manage is a limp hand raised to the sky in despair? I thought she was bad-ass but she didn't even attempt to shoot at the chopper or at the rope hauling Vincent away. What? She didn't want to accidentally shoot Vincent? Please. Tess shot Vincent and he was just fine so don't give me that. Such a poorly written and executed ending resulted in making both Cat and Vincent unrecognizable from the characters they had been portrayed as throughout the season. That is unforgivable so C-.

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I just read your review, and you hit the mark every time! I wasn't upset that they had a story line with "Red." I was upset that they put it in right after "Bridesmaide Up." That scene with Cat and Vincent dancing at the wedding was one of the best and romantic moments between two people I have watched on TV. To spoil it with Vincent meeting his first love in the hospital with Cat being shot was definitely a poor move. I really felt disappointed. Trust was one thing that Cat and Vincent had, and it is such a fine and fragile line that to hurt it that way was not a good way for the story to go. But, they did redeem the show; however, it did take a while for the fans to recuperate from that story. Loosing Evan was also a blow. He did has so much potential for the show, and I know all of us will miss him. Overall I love the show. Jay does such a wonderful job, and his chemistry with Kris is really beautiful. Austin is the BEST!!! He is definitely the fulcrum for the show. Nina is such a great partner for Kris. Heather is like a butterfly that flies in and seems to disrupt things, but in a sweet way. What can I say about Brian's character, Joe? Only Oh My! Don't like who he has become. He is suppose to be the "tough cop" who follows the rules and is in the dark about Vincent. Well beneath the surface is morales and the way he treats Nina have brought Joe down and he is suppose to be the superior in charge. The writers really need to clean up his character and have him at least leave his wife. Treating Tess like a "mistress" is not going over well with the audience. Well I have had my say. Love the show. Can't wait till season 2 which as a fan I was elated that they got it for all their hard and dedicated work.

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I give an A+ to the show, primarily for the effort of all and the incredible improvement of the show episode after episode.Generally I agree with you about the first season. I think Gabe and Evan are history as well as Alex. For me the best episode was when they finally declared their love to each other and kissed. By the way, they are the best kissers in TV, finally true kisses, and their love scene was epic. The chemistry between all actors in this show is unbelievable good, it is clear that they work well together and they are comfortable with each other in all their scenes. JT and Tess are two wonderful fun characters, together they are dynamite! I am a devoted fan of the show and I will follow it not only for the continuous surprises and twists in the story, but also for Jay, Kris, Austin, and Nina that together make a winner team!

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My wife makes me watch this with her. I would never choose to. From my point of u I only became interested in this show once they upped the Gabe/muirfield angle & toned down the vin/cat. We get it. They are each others twu wuv. Move on. I loved the mystery and intrigue towards the end and the fact that there are more beasts. Shame they killed Gabe, I liked him coz I can't quite figure him out. hope they keep the Muirfield angle strong in season 2 while obviously keeping the romance of vin/cat for my wife & the other female viewers or we are going to be far from domestic bliss in season 2.

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I agree with all that you said especially the Alex arc. I felt a lot of frustration when it happened and struggled to watch it through. Thankfully the show has completed captivated me and for that I have to give it an A- :D